This is a response to Chuck Wendig’s Flash Fiction Challenge: Down the TV Tropes Rabbit Hole.
My random TVtrope is: Go Back To The Source
I hope you enjoy!
Bryant stood up from a crouched position. His nostrils stung from a smell akin to rotting flesh, and there was a heavy feeling around his skin that was instantly recognizable, another dark world. He looked at his hands, opening and closing them, watching his forearms flex, making sure he had full use of his body in this realm. He knew a fight was coming. Creatures in a world like this could take on any form, man or beast. He had seen many as he transferred through countless realms.
He started walking, taking in the landscape, looking for something he could use to defend himself. There was a building in the distance, odd, it looked normal, like a house. He continued, watching to see if closing the distance revealed anything about the structure. Crows flew off as he approached. He found the door, a spider scurried through the crack where the door met the door jam, reluctantly he turned the knob.
A young couple stood before him, he let out a sigh of relief and walked in. “Where am I” Bryant asked looking for something, anything to help him understand. A blank stare is all they returned. He moved within reach to see if they were real. When he touched the women’s shoulder the pair began to amalgamate. He backed away, hoping to escape.
Knowing what was next he turned to find the door. There was a loud noise as the house began to transform and distort no exits in sight. He looked back at the newly formed beast, recognizing it from a past world. A four armed mutant breathing heavily, skin partially decomposed, was standing ready for combat. The creature possessed the strength of a bear, undoubtedly a dark confused soul. Relieved at the sight of this creator he began to focus, this was a fight he could win.
* * *
Bryant was being dismantled from a deeper level of existence, a place that he could feel but couldn’t explain. This pain came every time he won or lost a fight, projecting him into a new dimension. When the battle ended and Bryant stood victorious the next dimension was lighter and more fluid, when he faced defeat darkness and unyielding surroundings followed. The pain of transference hurt far beyond anything on the physical level, it felt as if he was being permanently separated from his soul. As the pain got worse he began to lose control. He looked at his hands, his fingers were no longer visible and he could see through his palms. The pain finally rendered him unconscious.
* * *
Crouched as before he looked up, excitement filled his body. The smell of North Carolina pines filled the air and brought back memories of a life nearly forgotten. He felt human again. He started to run falling several times, still getting used to the unrestricted felling of this reality. As he rounded the corner to his house, adrenaline coursing through his veins, he hit an invisible wall. Hit by a force he did not recognize from any of the dimensions he has visited, especially not this one.
“What are you doing here,” asked a man in a black suit.
“What,” he replied. It seemed like an eternity since he last heard a human voice. “I am going home.”
“There is nothing there for you.”
The energy continued to push Bryant back. “What are you,” he demanded.
“My boss wants to talk to you.”
Bryant sharpened his focus, pushing back against the shield. His hand advanced and passed through the man’s shoulder, he felt nothing, causing him lose focus and get thrown back. Suddenly he realized he didn’t exist in the physical realm, this was not a physical battle. He closed his eyes refusing to get this close and be sent back, his eyes opened, now red and determined. He felt a power he had never felt before. He closed his eyes and imagined the man tore in half, lying on the ground in two pieces. When he opened his eyes and narrowed his focus the man began to scream, his flesh began to separate at his waist. Slowly Bryant’s mental force ripped the man in two. Two others began to advance toward him; he was not going to let anything stop him from seeing his family. He closed his eyes again, this time picturing a dark red mist. He opened his eyes and narrowed his focus; they didn’t even have time to scream.
“Ha,” Bryant said out loud, wandering if the stain would exist in the physical realm.
* * *
Bryant could see himself sleeping beside his wife in the room where his journey began. He reached out to shake himself awake but he could not touch anything, not even his own sleeping body. He began to focus his mind, getting nervous, unsure of his own strength. He focused his mind on a punch to the stomach, surely he could forgive himself. He closed his eyes…
“Bryant,” a voice called.
He awoke screaming, crying, terrified.
“What was it like this time?” his wife asked.
“…The pain was the worst I have ever felt, the worst in any dimension. It felt like years this time, I didn’t realize I had to get back to this room, not at first, not the way I have in the past. At times I couldn’t even remember this reality.” He got up and went to the bathroom, wiped the tears from his face and looked in the mirror, afraid. “These dream worlds are beginning to feel more real than this reality,” he told his wife.
There was a knock on the door.
“Who could that be, it’s the middle of the night,” Bryant said.
He opened the door. A man in a black suite was standing on the other side. “You’re under arrest for the murder of three agents.” He said pulling out his handcuffs.